Senior artists
leave their mark
Posted Dec. 12, 2008
Rafael Anguiano
Christy Roberts tattoos herself for the audience at the Senior Thesis Exhibition in the Harris Art Gallery. She first tattooed in red ink the approximate number of Jews who died in the Holocaust and then inscribed herself with the Biblical passage Numbers 14:8.

The Harris Art Gallery turned into a student gallery this week for senior art majors to display their projects to the public in the Senior Art Thesis Exhibition.

There are 12 senior art majors who have work on display in the gallery, which opened Monday.

The gallery was filled with students, friends and family of the artists, who were there to see the senior art projects at the reception held on opening day.

“There were several pieces that stood out,” Anita Bunn, associate professor of photography, said. “Some were bold and provided immediate impact, while others were quiet and demanded a closer look, which provided a nice counterpoint within the context of the group exhibit.”

When you first walked into the gallery, to the right were strips of wood bark hanging in between the walls that were drawn on by Christy Roberts.

Along with the drawings was a performance by the artist who tattooed onto her arm the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

The markings on both her skin and the bark represent thousands of years of sacred human history, and, according to Roberts, symbolize her rejection to fundamentalism and structure.

Her project is titled, “Numbers.”

Directly next to the wood bark hanging was a painting and ceramic sculptures by Jennifer Esparza titled, “Roses of Red.”

Roses were seen as two and three-dimensional.

The artist said she hoped the viewer would feel a sense of peace and a place of love.

“A Story, All Mixed Up,” by Eric Almanza, is an art/fashion photography project.

His project’s name came from the title of a scene from “Pierrot Le Fou.”

The photography, three 22-by-30 inch color photographs, paid homage to the films of Jean-Luc Godard, specifically focusing on the 1960s era of Godard’s films.

Chris Arce’s acrylic on panel paintings consisted of three paintings, all on one-fourth of an inch of birch panel.

This piece was derived from old doodles of Arce’s, all of different characters.

He used one character on each piece of birch and created a specific color palette for each to accent their personalities, according to Arce.

This transformed his doodles and drawings into mature acrylic paintings.

Nelly Saleh Diab, in “Patterns in Design,” introduced Islamic art in the modern world.

Her intention of the ink, on 22-by-30 inch paper, was to encourage awareness to viewers that the aesthetics in Islamic art are not just pleasing to look at, but also represent a more profound order.

She contributed her work to the survival of this traditional and cultural art form.

Steven Bier’s set of nine colored photographs was taken at the Louis Robidoux Nature Center in Riverside.

These nine photographs, chosen out of 177 pictures, are composed in a way that shows the results of time on nature.

Bier’s photographs are set to remind people of the beauty of nature, and why people must help to preserve it.

“Almost all of the students in the Senior Thesis exhibit studied photography with me at some point, and it was wonderful to see the art they made, whether sculpture, painting or a continued passion for photography,” Bunn said.

“Pop,” a sculpture made of crochet thread and many pop-tabs collected from aluminum cans by Amri Covarrubias, shows the dichotomy between masculinity and femininity.

The sculpture is shaped into a flowing form and appears to be falling and spilling onto the floor.

The idea is set from a quote by Andy Warhol.

Brandon Spiegel’s “Process and Function,” acrylic on canvas paintings, is revolved around the idea of problem solving and the study of function.

According to Spiegel, the function of design, color and material is his definition of a creative process.

Spiegel has another set of paintings titled “Spatial Divisions” which display different geometries using color and acrylic paint on canvas.

This is the first in a series of temporary site-specific projects by advanced fine art majors in public spaces on the University of La Verne main campus.

Spiegel’s paintings are currently on view in the Student Resource Center Lobby.

Michael Gutierrez created four-color photographs, all 16-by-24 inches, titled “The Chemistry of Common Life 2008.”

Agricultural chemist James F.W. Johnston and photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia influenced his photographs.

By using a slow shutter speed, Gutierrez was able to show things that are always there but are never seen.

“Reflections of a life lost” by Leah Heagy is a black and white photograph installation of Native Americans.

The photographs demonstrate how the Native Americans still hold on to their culture, traditions and past.

The images, according to Heagy, capture a lost and forgotten culture.

Jaclyn Dino created a piece that specifically tied in with the University.

A digitally enhanced photomontage consisted of tiny images digitally enhanced to create one large image of a student athlete studying in the library.

The purpose of the photomontage was to capture significant moments in a student’s career at the University of La Verne.

The most noticeable pieces presented in the gallery were sculptures created by Greg Estevez.

Two large steel sculptures revolved around his strong interest in classic cars.

“I’m really involved in classic cars,” Estevez said. “I stopped by body shops and started picking up parts because I knew I was going to do something with cars.”

One sculpture was painted red and sat in the middle of the gallery.

According to Estevez, this is his favorite and he said it is the one he is most excited about.

There was also a black steel sculpture that stood outside of the gallery similar to the one inside.

“The works in the show represent all or part of their completed bodies of work and reveal a new level of depth and sophistication in their artistic development,” Ruth Trotter, professor of art, said.

The gallery will be up in the Harris Art Gallery until Dec. 18 and admission is free.

Jaclyn Mittman can be reached at

Rafael Anguiano
Greg Estevez installed two large steel sculptures in the annual Senior Art Thesis Exhibition in the Harris Art Gallery. Estevez’s project incorporated his enthusiasm for cars with his passion for art. One sculpture was painted red and was placed inside the gallery. The other, a rusted steel construction, is presently set up outside the south entrance to the gallery and the Landis Academic Center. The Senior Art Thesis Exhibition will be up until Dec. 18.

Rafael Anguiano
Robert Bier, father of senior exhibitor Steven Bier, observes some of Leah Heagy’s photography in the Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Harris Art Gallery. Heagy’s photographs were made at the 18th Annual Thunder and Lightning pow wow near the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa in Cabazon, Calif. The pow wow was hosted by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and this particular pow wow was named No. 1 in the country by Indian Country Today. Twelve students displayed their artwork in the gallery.

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Senior artists
leave their mark


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